A few days ago, something that was previously thought to be in the realm of science fiction happened: a massive DdoS attack nearly shut down the entire internet. Well, not quite, but the attack still had unprecedented reach as it shut down many major websites like Netflix and Twitter as well as plenty of smaller ones. How were hackers able to do this?
Simple: instead of focusing on individual sites, the hackers went straight for the jugular and attacked Dyn, the host provider for many tech companies big and small. The good news is that the attack was shut down pretty quick – the worst of it seems to be that hundreds of thousands of people were denied access to their favorite site. According to Dyn’s official statement, the attack caused no serious damage and will have little to no long-term effect.
The bad news? Dyn spokespeople noted that the attack had a lot of ‘juice’ behind it – it used way more bandwidth than most DDoS attackers can dream of, which is part of the reason why it was so successful. Many have drawn the conclusion that this amount of bandwidth goes past a mere hacking organization and have instead pointed the finger towards one or more countries. Is the Cold War heating up once again? Many of the websites included are thought of as icons of American entrepreneurship and progress, and it has long been thought that Russia and China each possess a small army of hackers with the knowledge and resources to cause massive internet disruption – yes, kind of like this one.
While nobody can know for certain, it might be safe to say we haven’t seen the last of these attacks yet.